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Hoppin' John: rustic Black Eyed Peas and Ham for luck in the New Year! | BoulderLocavore.com

Hoppin’ John

Hoppin' John is a rustic Southern dish of black eyed peas, seasonings and ham said to provide luck in a new year if it is the first food consumed! It's a simple, savory dish that reminds food doesn't have to be fancy to be soul-warmingly delicious. There are versions of Hoppin’ John that omit the pork. This is not an overly flavorful dish without the ham and I feel the pork is what really infuses the flavor.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword black eyed peas and ham, Hoppin' John
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6 -8 servings
Calories 463 kcal
Author Toni Dash


  • 2 cups black-eyed peas (dried)
  • 1 large onion , chopped (finely)
  • 2 jalapeno chilies (diced)
  • 1 ½ pound ham shank (can substitute 1 ½ pounds ham hocks; shank just has more meat)
  • 1 cup long grain rice


  1. Soak the black-eyed peas overnight and drain. Soaking short cut method: Add peas and 8 cups of water to a pan; bring to a boil and let boil for 2 minutes. Turn off heat, cover and let sit for 1-1 ½ hours. Drain and proceed with recipe.
  2. Add black-eyed peas, onion, chilies and ham shank to a large stock pot or Dutch oven with 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat so the pot is gently boiling. Boil for 1 to 1 ½ hours (so peas are soft but not mushy). Periodically check pot to skim off/discard ‘foam’ (protein compounds released when cooking beans) and to ensure there is enough water. Should the water begin to disappear below the top of the peas add enough so they will not dry out or stick to the bottom of the pan (but not more than they can absorb).
  4. Take half of the black-eyed peas and the pork shank and put them into another pot with a tightly fitting lid. Add the rice and enough water that it is a ½ inch above the top of the rice.
  5. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce to medium-low and put lid on the pot. Do not remove the lid during cooking! Let mixture cook for about 20-25 minutes. Turn off heat and leave lid on for an additional 10 minutes.
  6. Test to ensure the rice is soft and combine with remaining black-eyed peas. Remove pork from the bone (discard the bone(s)), cut into bite sizes pieces and mix in with the black-eyed peas and rice.
Nutrition Facts
Hoppin’ John
Amount Per Serving
Calories 463 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 6g30%
Cholesterol 70mg23%
Sodium 1350mg56%
Potassium 557mg16%
Carbohydrates 38g13%
Fiber 4g16%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 31g62%
Vitamin A 60IU1%
Vitamin C 7.1mg9%
Calcium 35mg4%
Iron 2.7mg15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.